Wendyl Wants To Know

Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl wants to know: Healthy effort but homemade's best

1 comment
Oats great start to day but sugar level is half maximum daily intake

Pucka Mixed Berry Bircher Muesli. $4.99 for 200g.
Pucka Mixed Berry Bircher Muesli. $4.99 for 200g.

Bircher muesli was invented in 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy.

Oats are generally considered to be a wonderful cereal to start your day with and so Bircher muesli is a popular choice for breakfast.

This product caught my eye because it seemed to be an ideal grab-and-go breakfast for busy families.


Ingredients

Low-fat yoghurt - (35%) (skim milk, cream, milk solids, cultures (including Lactobacillus acidophilus)) — These are standard ingredients for yoghurt but the cream is a bit puzzling in a low-fat yoghurt. The total fat content for a 200g serve is 4.6g so this is nice and low.

Pure apple juice from concentrate — This means the apple juice has been reconstituted from apple juice which has been concentrated. This is commonly done to make transport easier and keep costs down.

Wholegrain jumbo oats (20%) — Wholegrain oats are better for you than normal oats because they are made by toasting and rolling the whole oat, which includes the nutrient-rich bran part of the cereal.

Mixed berries (15%) — Blackberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants. These will be providing the deep pink colour of the muesli and most of the flavour.

Native bush honey — This honey differs from other honeys because it is gathered from bees who feed on native plants and wildflowers. It will be in here as a sweetener.

Unfortunately there are 21.4g or five teaspoons of sugar in this 200g serve. The sugar will be coming from the berries and the apple juice as well as the honey, but that is half the World Health Organisation's recommended daily serve of 10 teaspoons of sugar a day.

Rice starch - This will be in here as a thickener.


My recommendations

There is no doubt that a tub of Bircher muesli like this eaten on the run is much better for you than many other alternatives for a fast breakfast. But there is still a lot of sugar in here which you wouldn't get if you made the muesli yourself.

Simply soak one cup of wholegrain oats in the juice of an orange overnight, add some fruit and nuts and unsweetened natural yoghurt in the morning and you have Bircher muesli. You will still get sugar from the orange juice and the fruit you add, but no added sugar.


Highlights

• Quick, healthy breakfast on the run.
• Contains five teaspoons of sugar.
• All healthy ingredients.


Do you have a food product you would like Wendyl to feature? Email wendylwantstoknow@gmail.com with suggestions. Unfortunately Wendyl cannot correspond with readers. Read Wendyl's columns on other food products here.

- NZ Herald

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